We are back for our last collection of 2019! Time flies when you are having fun. We caught up with our Head of Design & Development, Gladys Macharia, to talk about her design process & what gifts she will be giving this Holiday season.
Where did you draw inspiration from for this season's colors?
Inspiration was drawn from past holiday celebrations. Drawing from when the seasons start to change, the weather becomes moodier & spending time with family becomes a priority. Nature is the best palate for any artist to use.
The Lamu Mule is a new addition, can you tell us about it?
The Lamu Mule is a fun and playful addition to our collection of Afridrilles. I wanted to create something easy to get in and out of, yet keeping one looking as effortlessly elegant as possible. The great thing is the simplicity of the design works wonderfully for both men and women. I have been counting down the days to have the opportunity to introduce a leather shoe. The Lamu Mule gave me the perfect chance and VOILA... a beautiful Kenyan sourced and tanned hunting suede.
This season's bracelets are super fun & bright - How will you be wearing them?
I can't express how excited I am for us to launch Holiday bracelets! I worked for days on sampling an assortment of 60 bracelets and we narrowed them down to 24 which was really difficult. The beautiful colors selected are a real slice of the festive nature of the Holiday season. Sparkling silvers with complimentary snowy soft whites, blues & golds with a sprinkle of red holly. I was inspired by the rich blue robe that is often seen worn in traditional imagery of Mary the mother of Jesus. As a strong woman in history I think she represents so many of the values that Ubuntu and our Maker Mums emulate in the world: compassion, humility and a readiness to love. The beautiful purples and reds in our seasonal collection are also symbolic of the traditional stained glass windows that are often seen in holy spaces like churches where many people draw their inspiration for life.
What is your design process? How do you go from idea to final product?
I am a free spirit when it comes to design. After creating a mood board and selecting seasonal pantones, I don't have a structured process that follows. What is important to me is having all materials in front of me spending time layering strings of beads, canvas, and leather. It is important to have a clear visual of what colors best complement each other. From there, I get out my coloring pencils and begin to draw out the collection for our Maasai Maker Mums to follow as they bead.
What is your favorite product this season?
My favorite product this season is the adorable Kisumu pouch! What I love about it, is that it's so versatile you can use it across any other bag you have or clip it into our Naivasha Tote! It is big enough to use as a keep safe for key items you would otherwise lose in your bag or detach it and use it as a wristlet for a fun night out. It’s such a steal at this fantastic price point and is a great essential to keep every lady organized while on the go.
What will you be gifting this year to friends & family?
I have such a large family and so many friends which means the holidays can get quite expensive. Which is why, I love gifting items from our line. It is a powerful gift that has real impact to those who create each product & is something unique and handmade from Kenya. It truly is a great ethical gift knowing that we use the best locally sourced materials, we are transparent about our production process and we provide each Maker Mum with health insurance & sustainable wages. Everyone will be getting a Kisumu Pouch with a holiday bracelet! Not to mention a few lucky people will be getting a pair of mules!!!